Tag Archives: info

Warpstock Europe 2019 is this weekend!

This weekend, May 18-19, Stichting VOICE International (the Dutch OS/2 VOICE foundation) will present Warpstock Europe 2019 at the Ibis Hotel in Utrecht, Netherlands. For program and travel details, visit http://www.warpstock.eu.

Ticket sales will close Wednesday afternoon, Dutch local time, so visit http://www.warpstock.eu now to purchase your ticket for this exciting event.

Unable to attend? Live audio and video streams will be made available. To ask questions remotely during the conference, use IRC. For details concerning both streams and IRC participation, see http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019.

Members of the Arca Noae team will be presenting on the latest application, device driver, and ArcsOS development. Alex Taylor, Arca Noae’s Chief UI Architect, will be there live to present and to answer your questions. In addition, the developers at bww bitwiseworks will be on hand to discuss their latest projects for the OS/2 platform, including Qt5 progress.

Remember that the audio and video streams will be in real time, so be sure to account for any local time difference from Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is GMT +0200.

Videos will be available from the Warpstock Europe YouTube channel after the conference. See http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019 for the link.

If you want to support the activities of VOICE, please consider making a donation:

http://www.os2voice.org/membership.html

Arca Noae progress report: ArcaOS on UEFI-only hardware

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is gradually replacing the traditional system BIOS. The vast majority of PCs on the market are now based on UEFI technology, and a number of these include what is called a Compatibility Support Module (CSM). This CSM “layer” replaces the traditional BIOS and provides backward-compatibility support for booting operating systems such as DOS, OS/2, and, of course, ArcaOS. (This is typically listed as “Compatibility”, or “Legacy” boot in the system setup menu of UEFI-based PCs.)

PC manufacturers and Intel specifically have stated publicly that they intend to phase out inclusion of a CSM layer in the next few years (in the case of Intel, beginning in 2020), leaving UEFI as the only boot option, eliminating the “Compatibility” selection. To prepare for this, Arca Noae has been exploring ways to boot ArcaOS on systems lacking a manufacturer-supplied CSM. We are pleased to announce that over the last several months our development team has made significant progress in achieving that goal.

In the lab, we are now able to boot ArcaOS all the way to a desktop on a system configured to boot in UEFI mode. All necessary drivers load, with all CPU cores running, and ArcaOS properly switches to graphics mode. The importance of this accomplishment cannot be overstated. To our knowledge, this is the first time ArcaOS has ever booted without the presence of an active CSM.

Having said that, this project is still in its research stage and not yet ready for release to our beta testers. Native UEFI support requires changes to the low level disk and video subsystems, and this work is ongoing.

We remain cautiously optimistic that we will complete our Proof of Concept successfully and will have a UEFI solution for a future ArcaOS version.

Oh, and Arca Noae has been an Adopting member of the UEFI Forum since 2015.

Arca Noae progress report

Work continues at a furious pace behind the scenes at Arca Noae! Sometimes, a lot of work is needed before any highly visible releases are done, so we thought it might be a good idea to provide periodic progress reports so everyone can see just how much work is being done. Here’s the first in the series.

Device drivers

Work is continuing on Panorama. There have been improvements in monitor detection. Our developers and dedicated beta testers discovered some issues on some systems with different EDID types. Other changes to the Panorama PMI have improved compatibility with more systems. Watch for a new release in the near future, and of course, in the upcoming ArcaOS 5.0.4.

The ACPI project continues to get improvements. In addition to the regular updates for ACPICA, there has been work needed to fix some minor issues, increasing compatibility over a wider range of systems.

The AHCI driver received some improvements to help protect non-MBR disks from accidental damage.

A lot of progress has been made on USB3. We now have a driver that mostly works but still needs further refining before it is ready for alpha testing.

Kernel and boot environment

Work has recently begun to investigate booting of ArcaOS on UEFI-based systems without a vendor-supplied Compatibility Support Module (CSM). Watch for further updates on this project. Early indications are very positive for this critical component, necessary to support the latest generation of hardware.

ArcaOS 5.0.4

A lot of work has gone into getting the next release of ArcaOS ready. Our next progress update will focus on this, but the biggest news to share is that thanks to our new Update Facility, bringing any version of ArcaOS 5.0 up to date will be a snap: no more reformatting and reinstalling! Instead, just boot from the installation disc, ISO, or USB flash drive, select the ArcaOS installation to be updated, and allow the process to complete.

A lot of work has gone into Installer fixes and improvements, too. For new installations, the process has never been easier or more trouble-free.

Outside development

Most of our developers also do their own things, away from ArcaOS. Most of these projects find their way into ArcaOS or into the Arca Noae software repositories in some form or fashion. Here are a couple of notable things seeing active development.

Several years ago, Alex Taylor, our Chief UI Architect, began work on a replacement utility for the graphical LVM (Logical Volume Manager) Java applet. Alex has recently returned to that work, and the latest beta is looking promising for inclusion in ArcaOS 5.1.

Alex has also spent some time working on not only the ConfigApps utility which associates various internet applications with the Workplace Shell, and has contributed some new work for NewView, the help and INF viewer. Source code for both of these may be viewed and checked out of the Netlabs NewView project repository.

Consulting and development for commercial clients

We have spent a lot of time in recent months working on some custom projects for commercial clients. Not only does this work help fund ongoing development for many of the projects mentioned above, but many new things come out of this work to benefit all users of the platform.

Ongoing subscription service and support

We work tirelessly to provide professional, courteous, and knowledgeable technical support for the software we produce and distribute. Sometimes, this support uncovers bugs which we work quickly to address, other times, we find that documentation could be improved, and in some cases, we discover hardware which may require some software modification to support (or which we may determine to be unsuitable for ArcaOS). We offer two levels of support: personal and commercial, where commercial subscribers receive priority attention. Still, we do our best to see that everyone’s needs are addressed.

As a reminder, when considering opening a new trouble ticket, it’s a good idea to re-read our ticket guidelines and Best Practices page, and be sure to search for similar issues in our bug tracker. If a ticket is indeed necessary, we generally will require a TestLog log file, so be sure to follow the directions here to get the latest TestLog build, first. You may attach a log file at the time of opening the ticket, saving time in the process.

See our new product and activity roadmaps!

We often get asked,”so what’s next for ArcaOS?” “Where can we see you guys?” “What have you done with XYZ?” We realize our original roadmap page fell short, and the more work we did, the harder it became to keep updating that page — especially when it was all-in-one.

So, we decided to do something about that. We’ve split our roadmaps into different targeted areas, namely, General, ArcaOS, Drivers, Software, and Advocacy & Events. We’ll do our best to keep these pages updated with our latest plans and releases.

2019 is starting off as a great year for Arca Noae, and there is a lot of great stuff on the horizon. ArcaOS 5.0.4 is in beta, which will include a number of great updates including Samba 4.9 and a handy updater feature which should update even an early 5.0 release to the latest code in a matter of a few minutes. USB 3 is also on the way very soon, now.

Watch for more updates to our software and to our roadmaps as we move further into this year.

Warpstock 2018, Calgary

Arca Noae at Warpstock 2018 in Calgary…and an ArcaOS Sale

This year’s Warpstock event is scheduled for September 14-16 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.There will be several sessions devoted to getting the most out of ArcaOS and OS/2, in general.

To celebrate this year’s event, Arca Noae will be running a sale on ArcaOS personal and commercial licenses for the duration of Warpstock, Friday through Sunday. This is a great time to get in on this fresh and exciting OS/2 release or to pick up additional licenses for more stations. ArcaOS 5.0.3 was recently released, and the first beta for 5.0.4 is already in testing. Version 5.1 is scheduled for release in 2019, with a host of new features planned, including NLVs for several popular languages.

More information about Warpstock, its history, past speakers and presentations, and this year’s event may be found on the Warpstock site.

If you can’t join us in Calgary, be sure to watch the live feed on the WarpEvents page on YouTube.

Once there, locate the WarpStock 2018 Live Stream URL.

Users with OS/2 can watch the stream in two ways:

  1. Firefox with Flash pointing to the WarpEvents site; or
  2. Grab the YouTube URL and play it in VLC (preferred; get the latest VLC, ported by KO Myung-Hun, from Hobbes).

To ask questions during the live event, use the #netlabs channel on IRC.

There will be up to date information on OS/2 World and the following social networks:

Critical fix available for ArcaOS 5.0.3 installations from DVD requiring USB keyboard and/or mouse

We have identified and corrected an issue in our production build system affecting the ArcaOS 5.0.3 ISO resulting in missing USB driver files normally loaded when booting from DVD.

If you normally install from USB flash drive or directly from the ISO you do not require this fix to install.

If, however, you normally install from DVD or from the ISO into a virtual machine which requires USB keyboard and/or mouse emulation, this fix is required in order to load the USB stack for the installation process.

The ending installation is exactly the same, with or without this fix, as no changes to anything installed to the local drive(s) have been made. This is only for the purpose of booting from the installation DVD and navigating through the installer.

Unfortunately, this fix requires a full download of a fresh ISO, as there is no practical way of inserting this small fix in an existing ISO or DVD. As a result, all currently cached ISOs here have been expired. At your convenience, please log into your customer portal, access your ArcaOS order from the Orders & Subscriptions page, and request a fresh ISO.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused, and thank you very much for your patience. Thanks also to those who reported the issue to us.

October 2017 happenings

ArcaOS 5.0.2 in the works

We are hard at work finalizing the last bits to be included in ArcaOS 5.0.2. Among the enhancements and features are a few bug fixes, updates to included RPM packages, updated Samba client, and the new ability to install from an ArcaOS bootable USB stick (or local partition). We call this new feature AltBoot, and it is a milestone for OS/2. This should assist those with USB 2.0 capability but no optical drives in getting ArcaOS installed and running.

Arca Noae experimental YUM repository access now restricted

In an effort to better ensure the integrity of packages provided by Arca Noae in our release and subscription channels, we have now restricted access to the arcanoae-exp repository to developers and the test team only.

Rest assured, any software which you may have installed from the experimental repository will continue to function just as it did before. However, we strongly urge that if you have installed the arcanoae-exp RPM to configure the experimental repository in Arca Noae Package Manager (ANPM) or YUM, you uninstall that package. It will be withdrawn from the Netlabs stable repository shortly.

Firefox 45.9 RPM coming soon to an Arca Noae YUM repository near you

Firefox 45.9 GA should be arriving soon for installation via ANPM as part of the subscription content for ArcaOS licensees with active support and maintenance and Drivers & Software subscribers. This new packaging should ease the burden of upgrades by managing dependencies and better ensuring a successful installation. More details will be provided in an upcoming post. (Of course Firefox is free for all to download as zip from Netlabs. There is no requirement to maintain a subscription with Arca Noae in order to get the latest Firefox for OS/2.)

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

A Note about Third-Party Components in ArcaOS

You may be aware of the recent massive Equifax security breach and the Company’s explanation surrounding a vulnerability in Apache Struts (CVE-2017-5638) disclosed by US CERT in early March 2017. Some reports have implied that the company has somehow blamed Apache Software Foundation for the breach, specifically by not moving quickly enough to address the security flaw. Apache has responded to these allegations clearly and concisely. In light of this incident, we thought this a good opportunity to help provide some clarity concerning third-party work and open source components, in general, as they pertain to ArcaOS and Arca Noae’s position regarding their fitness for use, and who is ultimately responsible to maintain his or her or, in the case of enterprise use, its own systems.

Arca Noae includes several components in ArcaOS developed by reputable third parties, including IBM, Apple, and others. Some of these components are open source, as well, meaning that the code for compiling these components into machine-readable form is freely available to the public. Open source software is often more secure than proprietary software, by nature of the fact that many (sometimes thousands) of developers around the world contribute to the code. This (often massive) group effort allows such projects to react quickly when flaws are discovered, and to work to constantly monitor and maintain the software. However, whether proprietary or open source, Arca Noae may have no control whatsoever over these components, inherent flaws, or as-yet-undisclosed security issues.

It is Arca Noae’s position that each ArcaOS licensee (whether an individual or an enterprise) bears the sole responsibility to consider his or her or its own interests and security. While we do what is within the realm of reasonable possibility to stay abreast of current trends and vulnerability disclosures (CVEs), we cannot guarantee that all issues will be identified and/or reported to our users by us. Thus, best practices dictate that each user remain vigilant and aware of the connected ecosystem in which we live and to take steps to mitigate his or her or its own risks.

Arca Noae welcomes reports from our users of disclosed and non-disclosed vulnerabilities. While we normally encourage our users to avail themselves of our Mantis ticketing system to report issues, those of a sensitive nature (such as an as-yet-undisclosed or little-known security flaw in a bundled component) should be reported through our contact page.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind all of our ArcaOS licensees that ArcaOS does not utilize telemetry of any kind to communicate with us. We firmly believe that when a user licenses a copy of ArcaOS, his or her or its data should remain on the system as directed by the user, shared only by the user, and with the user’s full knowledge and consent.

The next exciting update to ArcaOS 5.0 is in the making, too. Watch the Arca Noae blog for a release announcement in the coming weeks.